Groups : My Spiritual Growth

This was a common challenge statement from our meeting with small group leaders and coaches.  One thing I am encouraging you to do is to evaluate the quality (not quantity) of your quiet time.

The elements of our Sunday celebration services are what should be included in your quiet time.  Worship, Prayer, Time in the Word.  What this actually looks like will change from day to day and person to person.  Set aside the time and allow the Holy Spirit to shape what that time looks like.

 

This past weekend, I prayed that God would help those in a spiritual slump.  I’m reminded of David and his men that came back to a place called Ziklag.  It had been burned down by the Amalekites and the women and children were taken captive.  This messed up David and his men so badly, the Bible says they were physically worn out from weeping so much.  David and his men were in a slump but verse 6 of 1st Samuel 30 says, “But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.
David strengthened himself in the Lord.
Leaders, there is no worship song, leader, sermon, study, book, friend that David had available to him … but the Bible says David strengthened HIMSELF in the Lord.

 

If you’ve hit a wall in your spiritual journey, feel flat in your passion for Jesus or just have flat out plateaued, it’s time for you to strengthen yourself in the Lord.  Carve out some time and communicate that to your spouse, accountability partner, family and others you trust.
Protect this quiet time.  Turn the phone off, disconnect from the online social networks, shut the TV off, and be alone with God during this time.  Find that physical location where you can be alone with the One that has so much in store for you.

 

Fast.  Set some goals where you can bring the element of a lifestyle of fasting into your regular schedule.  One day a month, One meal a week, something.

 

Fasting is about celebrating Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit on the inside of us to expand to a greater degree as we shut down the natural man and engage the spiritual man.

We’ve got to get the gunk out of God’s temple so we can hear His voice clearly and prepare ourselves for the new things He wants to do in and through us.  Some things will only happen through fasting and prayer.

 

Pray.  Talk to God.  Tell Him everything about you.  Tell Him everything about Him.  Listen.  As He speaks to your heart, write it down.
I’m praying for you and want to see your lives breakthrough in ways that people point to Jesus and say, surely the presence of God is in you.  Always remember : As a leader, you can only lead people to where you yourself have been.

 

It’s time to dive in deeper.

It’s time to experience times of refreshing.

It’s time to experience a greater revelation.  Let’s go!

True Confessions of an Associate Pastor : You v. Eminem

It’s taken a few weeks to get this entry to where I feel God wanted it to be but this morning while watching a special on Eminem’s top 20 videos, it all came together.

It’s been about 20 years now since I first started to listen to music out of the hip hop spectrum and one things for sure:  I’ve always been fascinated by Eminem’s lyrical giftedness.  I do not have a doctorate in how he compares to others in the hip hop game, but in my humble opinion, he tells quite the story.  In spite of such giftedness, he tells a super dark story that is both a reflection of his life and saddens the heart with his calculated hopelessness.  Anything he does, makes it big and much is to be said about his fan base.  People enjoy his music.

Saul was a king way back when and would get overwhelmed with life and called for someone to ease his stresses with none other than something musical.  I think we often do the same.  We find our escape in different things, sometimes even music.

So Saul finds a liking to this guy, David.  Through the musical capacity that David brought to the scene, he’s able to calm Saul down.  At the time, Saul doesn’t fully understand, but in a earlier moment the prophet Samuel anoints David to be King.

Saul isn’t being soothed by music.  Saul is being calmed by the Anointing.

“After that, whenever the bad depression from God tormented Saul, David got out his harp and played. That would calm Saul down, and he would feel better as the moodiness lifted.” – 1 Samuel 16:23 (The Message)

In my prayers last week, I went in with no particular agenda except, Holy Spirit help me to pray for what you put in my heart … and here drops a specific group of people:

The Christian Artist

It could be music, art, poetry, fashion, drama, or some other form of art, but my prayer is that you would truly understand the anointing.  It’s not in your ability, giftedness, or genius but in the anointing that I’m believing that people would find healing,  freedom, peace and above all else, Jesus.  Imagine a time, at some point in the future, when you do your thing … their ‘thing’ instantly being annihilated by the power of God.  Imagine.  Now believe.

My prayer is:

You would be the head and not the tail.

You would be the pioneer for both the Christian and secular industries.

You would set the tone on what direction things are heading in.

You would set the pace on what is shattering the former way of doing things.

You my friend, under the anointing, are a genius.

Eminem has got nothing on you.  Score one for what God is doing in and through you my friend.

You – 1
Eminem – 0